The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 21, 2014

Shysters phone 5 times in 6 hours

Message to woman from ‘IRS’: Calamity ahead if you ignore me

— We shared the story of a Riverside woman last week who received threatening phone messages from an “Internal Revenue Service Department agent” named Eric Foster who claimed the woman was “a primary suspect in a case being filed by the IRS in regard to a tax fraud.”

Brenda C., 56, was urged to return the call “the very second you receive this message.”

The number was in the (202) area code, which may or may not have originated in Washington, D.C.

Since then, an exasperated Brenda received at least four more similar calls from the same number — three from “Agent Jessica Rouland” and one from “Officer Kevin Peterson.” All were received on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m. and ending around 5 p.m.

The callers have strong accents and each message warns “If you don’t return the call ... then the only thing I can do is wish you, uh, good luck as the situation badly unfolds on you.”

This scam has been circulating around the country for several months. Plenty of complaints about it can be found with a quick online search.

Depending on what day the call is returned, it will be answered by a recording that says Rouland or Peterson or Foster is unavailable and to leave your name, phone number and detailed message.

Do not confuse the Internal Revenue Service Department (which is fake) with the Department of Internal Revenue (which is real). Do not be convinced the calls are legitimate even though the caller leaves a name and a phone number and that when you call, there is a recording on the other end from that very same caller. Do not provide any personal information about yourself on any recording to a number you don’t know and a person you’ve never met.

Brenda knows the calls are scams and should be ignored, but they are growing increasingly bothersome.

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